York is sometimes described as the capital of the north, and it's not difficult to see why. It is a really beautiful city which deservedly attracts tourists from around the world. Its history pervades the whole fabric of the City - you could say it's written on the City walls, which date back to Roman times and still surround most of the old city - and reach back as far as the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings (who gave their dwelling the name Jorvik, from which the name York is derived).
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It is also the second most important site of Christianity in the UK - and the imposing towers of York Minster dominate the landscape for miles around, as if asserting its eminence to anyone approaching the city by road or rail.
But it isn't just its history - and there's an awful lot of it - that makes York special. It's also a forward-looking and very modern place, with excellent restaurants serving a vast range of cuisines, and a great place for culture too - with the marvellous Theatre Royal, the York Art Gallery, traditional museums and the bang-up-to-date National Railway Museum, plus the ground-breaking and multi-award-winning Jorvik Viking Centre. There's also Newgate Market (110 stalls within Europe's biggest pedestrianised area) which is open every day of the year apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, and York has some fine shops and department stores too.
Other "must-do" sights and activities are the Museum Gardens - very popular in the summer months; the Shambles - a well-preserved Tudor street where an abattoir was once sited, which is now home to a host of boutique shops and restaurants; a trip on a river-boat on the River Ouse, and the York Mystery Plays, performed every 4 years from wagons at various locations around the city; a tradition dating back to medieval times (Sunday 11th July and Sunday 18th July 2010 are the next scheduled performances, but check dates to avoid disappointment).
York Tourist Information Centre is in the De Grey Rooms, in St Leonard's Place - just round the corner from Exhibition Square.
Check the Hello Yorkshire blog.
Merchant Adventurers' Hall
Richard III Museum, Monk Bar
River Ouse boat trips
Roman Bath Public House
York Art Gallery
York Cold War Bunker
Falconry UK Birds of Prey Centre, Thirsk
Helmsley Castle, Helmsley
Mount Grace Priory, Northallerton
Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon
Poplars Adventure Mega Maze, Knaresborough
Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley
Sutton Bank National Park Centre, Thirsk
Sutton Park, Sutton-on-the-Forest
Thirsk Racecourse, Thirsk
Aldborough Roman Site, Aldborough, near Boroughbridge
Beningbrough Hall, Shipton by Beningbrough
Byland Abbey, near Coxwold
Duncombe Park, Helmsley
Eden Camp, Malton
Harewood House, Leeds
RHS Harlow Carr Gardens, Harrogate
Kirkham Priory, Whitwell-on-the-Hill
Merchant Adventurers' Hall
Newburgh Priory Estate
North York Moors National Park
Nunnington Hall, Helmsley
Pickering Castle, Pickering
Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole
Selby Abbey, Selby
World of James Herriot, Thirsk
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington